tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 20, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
absolutely. his network show "royal pains" premiers with a two-hour event on sunday december 16th. and thanks for being on the program. that's "the ed show." "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening. when i ran down to the green room before starting my show and i saw henry winkler standing there, i almost passed out. i went into fan mode. >> when i was told he was going to be on the program, i just went, ayyyy! >> so cool. thanks, man. thank you to you at home for joining us. pop quiz, ready? what is the biggest country in the middle east? and i don't mean the biggest by land area. you don't get credit for large swaths of territory. what is the biggest nation in the middle east by population? it turns out it's not at all a close call. it's egypt, by a lot. more than one in five people in
the middle east is egyptian. it's not the richest country, it's not geographically in the middle, but it is the center of gravity for both population and the politics of that whole blessed region. geographically, more toward the middle of the whole middle east is the nation of israel, comparatively tiny. if you want to understand where the fighting is centered, you have to zoom in even further to a whole different scale to even be able to see what the relevant border is over which this fighting is happening. looking at it in that context, you might ask, what's that giant border right next to this relativity tiny place being fought over? that's egypt. that's the egyptian border right up next to this tiny strip of land where the fighting is happening in gaza. that's why part of why this was such a big deal. egypt and israel shaking hands.
thank you jimmy carter. the peace treaty between this important country, the nation of israel. but jimmy carter, it turns out, is not only the only live american historical connection to this critically-important relationship that you see diagrammed there. the president of egypt who is shaking hands with the prime minister of israel and sealing this peace treaty between these ko countries, this president of egypt, the handshake was in march of 1979. two and a half years later, he was assassinated. how did he come to be assassina assassinated? it came from this guy. this guy right now is in prison in the united states in a federal prison complex in north carolina thanks to his role in the first bombing of the world trade center back in the '90s. after he called for the assassinati
assassination, who made the peace deal with israel, after he was kill ed who succeeded him? this guy. hosni mubarak who ran it with an iron first for years. and who kept that deal with israel. for all of the chaos and upheaval and injustice and violence and repetitive wars and negotiations and turnover and turmoil, from sodan in 1979 through hosni mubarak, that peace agreement was in a region where almost nothing seems knowable, it was a knowable thing in the middle east. the country that's the most populous nation, the center of gravity for the arab world, in a peace treaty with israel. e then all of a sudden that knowable thing for a generation, that knowable thing about that part of the world suddenly became no longer a knowable thing. because last year the arab
spring ref lugs in egypt ousted hosni mubarak from power after 30 years and replaced him with a guy who is a whole new ball of wax. he comes from the brotherhood and the hopes and prospects for the egyptian people, there's also this question of whether or not egypt now after 30-plus years of standing for this unlikely peace with israel is going to continue to do that. and yeah, you know, on the one hand, news like what we have been hearing for the past week may sound like an old record that you're skipping and you're back to a song you have heard before. when condoleeza rice was on her way out, didn't that just happen all over again? this did just happen. it happened in january of 2009 at the end of the bush administration. but even though at the surface
level this sounds the same, even though this sounds the same a at distance, it is really important that that was a different world then. that was a pre-arab spring world. and today with america's current secretary of state hillary clinton jetting over for a middle of the night region, it's new and newly important and ultimately fascinating that where our secretary of state is going to end up is in egypt. because egypt is right in the middle of it. egypt is at the heart of these efforts going on right now to try to negotiate a cease fire. a cease fire was hoped for today, it did not happen today. the parts are in motion. you have seen over the last few days where hillary clinton has been in the world and how quickly plans changed. at 11:15 p.m. eastern time on sunday, this was her with president obama meeting with the president of burma. as of 12:47 yesterday, here she was with the president at the
home of the pro-democracy advocate. 4:14 p.m. yesterday she was boarding air force one with the president headed to cambodia. midnight today, she was with the president at the east asia summit. but then hillary clinton suddenly and unexpected peeled off leaving cambodia at 2:51 eastern time this afternoon flying first to israel to make a middle of the night meeting with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. this took place at 11:08 p.m. in jerusalem when hillary clinton sat down with benjamin netanyahu. and from there after her meating with the israeli prime minister, she went to go talk to the palestinians. but not those in gaza where the fighting was happening, because the u.s. doesn't talk to their governing body, so she'll go to a different territory not contiguous with where the fighting is. as long as we're talking about
confusing things, yes, the west bank is east of the other place we're talking about. there it is. it's israel first and then the palestinian authority. where after that? to be part of the international negotiations that are happening on this cease fire in this critical part of the world? she's going to cairo, to egypt because everybody is counting on them. they are indecembispensable. the president is finishing his trip in the far east and he's kept up his schedule of public events and appearances there but he's been doing some diplomacy personally. "the new york times" reporting that the president spent last night up until 2:30 in the morning making one-on-one direct phone calls with the israeli prime minister and also not the head of hamas, not the palestinian authority, but the president of egypt, which for a j generation was our ally in the region, even though it was a creepy and repressive dictatorship. now that country, that crucial
nation in this critical part of the world has a whole new face and maybe a whole new character in terms of its international responsibilities. nobody knows if this effort by them to broker a cease fire is going to work. but it seems almost as important for the region, for the world, for us, frankly, that if a cease fire is going to come from anywhere, it looks like it's going to come from there. joining us live from gaza is richard engel. richard, earlier today we were hearing reports from jerusalem that a cease fire might be possible by tonight. that did not happen. what did happen today? why did the prospects change? >> reporter: i think it goes back to what you were just talking about. the historic picture has changed here and the two sides basically didn't want the cease fire. they have a strong hand right now. hamas for decades really, before hamas was hamas, has -- when
hamas came to power in gaza, president mubarak treated it like a criminal organization. now you had 13 arab foreign ministers coming to gaza visiting the hamas leader. and the hamas leader has often had to run around the world as if he was a terrorist. now he's receiving all these dignitaries. the hamas position is that there should be a cease fire immediately and that along with that cease fire, there should be an open -- or the siege on gaza because i'm glad you showed that map. gaza doesn't have any external border. it's surrounded by egypt or israel. according to various agreements, any goods that come in or out of
are subject to severe restrictions and the people of gaza can't leave unless they are also given the specific security agreements. so what hamas is asking for is immediate change of all of that status. a lifting of the blockade making it possible for the people of gaza to export what they want, to travel as they want, and to have that coincide at the same time as a cease fire. israel doesn't want to do that. they want to pair up the old agreements that says are necessary to restrict the flow of goods goo gaza, to restrict the e flow of weapons and israel believes in you allow more products to come into gaza, there will be more weapons coming in and israel is positioned thus far -- stop firing rockets and then with
hamas about some of these other things like the trade restrictions. >> we're having a little trouble with your uplink in terms of you jumping in and out of your question. let me ask about secretary of state hillary clinton arriving in the region. what are the best hopes and expectations for what she's going to be able to do? is she going to change anything in terms of the balance of power and how this is likely to be resolved? >> it depends if she can convince the egyptians to convince hamas. they feel confident because the arab spring has given it a new batch of friends. if hillary clinton can pressure hamas and can be persuaded by mohamed morsi her chances are pretty good. if she cannot, then i think this will be another round of fighting, potentially even a
ground war. i don't think israel wants a ground war. i don't think hamas would mind a ground war. a much more bloody -- would get involved. not the egyptian government, the egyptian people would start streaming in here. the arab media that was so influential in bringing down a rack dictatorships here would go into a state of -- that would benefit hamas. so i think it really depends on how much influence hillary clinton can have over morsi and how much influence morsi can have because even though this area here is being pounded militarily and there was the heaviest air strikes tonight that we have seen thus far, hamas feels -- >> richard engel, live from gaza. thank you. thank you for staying up in the middle of the night. stay safe. thinking about the leverage here that the american
government has, we all judge our diplomacy of our own government based on what outcome they are able to achieve np in a case like this in particular, the thing that we can do is apply pressure, american pressure to a lever. and help that lever affect the situation on the ground. and the lever we can apply here is egypt. and boy has egypt changed a lot in the past year and knowing what that relationship is going to be like between us and them and the rest of the world is one of the great unknowns. it's an uncertain time. having rather drastically failed to understand some important publically-available data in the run up to the election, one of the most famous of the mitt romney's going to win in a landslide people has decided now to turn to new data. data about a problem that does not exist. the process of publicly failing up continues. that story is next. my doctor told me calcium
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things people are saying about the election that are not true, but it makes them feel better to say it any way. the man who came in second place for vice president this year is paul ryan. paul ryan, go. >> some of the turnout. some of the turnout in urban areas, which definitely gave president obama the big margin to win this race.
>> president obama won reelection because of high turnout in urban areas. that's what paul ryan says presumably because it makes him feel good to think that's must be what happened. here's what we know. nbc news reporting that in the swing states, president obama did as well as democrats usually do in urban areas. so he did well there, but pretty much par for the course. if you look at the eight swing states the president won, president obama did only marginally better in some of them. two states, he actually did worse. florida was the only state where there was a significant increase. just florida. a state the president didn't even have to win in order to win the election. so paul ryan's theory about how and why they lost, the surprise urban turnout might make him feel better about what happened, but it doesn't explain why. okay. now it's time for round two. things people are saying about the election but it makes them feel better to say it any way.
round two. mitt romney in 2012 versus john mccain in 2008. among liberals who are happy that mitt romney lost and among conservatives who are trying to say i told you so about the reasons mitt romney lost, there's been a fair amount of bipartisan anti-mitt romney glee over the idea that mr. romney received even fewer votes for president than john mccain did back in 2008. turns out that is not true. it may have looked like that on election night or on the day after the election. but millions of votes aren't counted right after the election. it takes days and even weeks after the election until you get all the vote in. the fact is that president obama did beat both of these candidates pretty easily. neither was a close election. but mr. romney was closer. and mr. romney did beat mr. mccain in terms of the number of ballots cast. which is either exciting or just population growth, depending on your perspective. but if somebody tells you that john mccain got more votes for
mitt romney, that's not true. last one. same game round three. things people are saying about the election that aren't true, but it makes them feel better to say it any way. this guy is named dean chambers. he ran the website unskewed polls. it became famous for being hi lairously wrong about poll iingn the presidential race. it said that everybody else's polling assumptions were wrong and if you fix those assumptions, you would see just how much of a landslide mitt romney was going to win the election by. unskewed polls said mitt romney wins florida by four points. he wins new hampshire by two. he wins iowa by three points. a romney blowout in virginia. he's up by six. mr. romney did not win florida or new hampshire or iowa or virginia. he didn't win any of those states, e let alone by the margins predicted.
so it became a new measurement of wrong. there are the american political standard for wrong. when you search for wrong, this is the top search result. wrong. this guy is a punch line. wrong. wrong wo who? unskewed polls. who says there are no second acts. because now instead of disappearing into a shame hole of critical self-assessment. unskewed polls has relaunched itself. ladies and gentlemen and others, the folks who brought you the wrongness now present barack o'fraudo. their new website about voter fraud and how president obama stole the election in ohio and pennsylvania and virginia and florida. see those are the states that are marked in black on the map. the unskewed polls people know
that president obama stole them using voter fraud or something. it's the states that are black, wink, wink, they were stolen. i would try to explain how they say the president stole that, but i don't speak crazy. telling yourself things about politics to make yourself feel good feels good. i understand why people are tempted to do this, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't contrast those happy tales that make us feel good with the the facts of what actually happened. so we can learn from them. hold on. there's more of that coming. a , try running four. fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it.
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we have some late, late, late election news today from florida. two weeks after the election, florida congressman allen west finally conceded today to his democratic opponent patrick murphy. after a recount effort put him further behind and not closer. also from florida, news that a surprising number of voters in that state in this year's election got forced into a voting in an iffy way. a number of voters were forced to use a provisional ballot. ballots that sometimes don't get counted at all. if they do, it's at the very end after everything else is done. in one county, they had 20 times as many people as normal forced to use that kind of sketchy
ballot. the reason so many floridians were forced into voting with a ballot that might not count is because florida republicans changed the rules for this election in a way that meant more people would be forced to vote that way. florida republicans essentially broke their state's own election system on purpose. the nonpartisan league saying, it was like putting gum in the engine of the voting process. you know, elections in florida had been getting better. the state had expanded some early voting and upgraded their equipment, but before this particular election, florida republicans changed the rules. they shortened early voting, made it it harder to register and made it so once you registered, it was harder to stay properly registered. so voting got harder with people waiting in lines for more than eight hours to vote. and those thousands of shaky
provisional ballots. and that happened because it has received wisdom that the more people who vote shs the better that election will go for democrats. but this year apparently voting didn't get hard enough in florida. the turnout did not go down far enough. the democrats won the state and the democrats won the country in terms of the presidency. now after the election, republicans around the country are trying even harder to change more of the rules. in ohio where republican secretary of state john husted argued for rules to make it harder to vote and voters state staied in the long lines that results and barack obama won ohio and another term in the white house, now in ohio that same republican secretary of state says that ohio should change the rules to divide up the state's electoral votes by congressional district. that would mean that ohio wouldn't be winner take all anymore. so a republican candidate could get electoral votes out of ohio.
>> it would not be a winner-take-all state and you would not have another elections controversy about ohio because we wouldn't matter as much anymore. >> ohio leading the way forward by trying to not matter as much anymore. then, hey, who cares whether your citizens can vote in a reasonable amount of time if your state doesn't matter as much anymore. let them stand in line all day. republicans in another state won by barack obama this year want to change the rules in that state too. before the election this year, wisconsin republicans tried to require photo i.d. in order to vote. they failed at that. then president obama won wisconsin and another term in the white house. now the republican governor of wisconsin scott walker wants to try to change the rules again. this time to make it so you can no longer register to vote on election day, even though wisconsin has had that system since 1976 and seems to be work ing just fine. why does he want to make that change? why does he want to get rid of
same-day voter registration? almost one in five voters in the last election in milwaukee registered and voted on the same day. milwaukee had 87% voter turnout, which should be a good thing, right? unless you see that as a problem in your state. also registering and voting on the same day was popular during the wisconsin recall elections during the past year "on or near milwaukee's college campuses." so that's popular with college kids, who so happen not to like republican candidates that much. so scott walker says that voting and registering has to go. that rule must be changed. you guys, republicans, florida, ohio, wisconsin, all of you, don't you find this embarrassing? i mean if the only way you think you can win an election is to make it more difficult for people who support democrats to cast their votes or make states count less towards who gets elected president, then you are not competing in our democracy.
you are competing against our democracy. how about competing on the merits? democrats have ideas, republicans have ideas. let's air them out and let the voters pick. all the voters. unless you are too chicken to try that again. joining us is e.j. dionne. thank you for being here. i feel guilty just looking at you having just said the word chicken. you are so much more civil than that. >> it's good to be with you. by the way, thank you for your great piece on rockaway last night and thanks to brian williams who did a great piece tonight. i have a lot of family there. they are in a mess, but they are fighting back. and your piece was inspiring to a lot of people. >> that's nice of you to say. we were happy to get that on the air. wub of our producers has been doing a lot of reporting and being able to put that on the air made me happy to have a tv show. >> bless her too. >> when we last talked about
voting rights after the election, i was the optimistic one saying we could stop trying to partisan skew the voting process. you were a little more pessimistic. does this news mean that you were right and i was wrong to be optimistic? >> i'm always in favor of optimism and hope, but really remarkable is republicans are saying, we tried to rig the election with the voter suppression laws and what they might have done, some republicans are saying, maybe we should broaden our appeal to win the next time. but these guys said, we just didn't rig it enough. and what's remarkable, you look at what husted wants to do in ohio, he wants gerrymandered house districts to determine where the vote goes. so obama would have carried the state and romney would have gotten 12 of 18 electoral votes. that doesn't make any sense. governor walker said he was concerned that this was unfair to poll workers that they had to
r register voters. now since these are, as far as i can tell, the only public employees for whom he's expressed sympathy, that can't be the reason they are doing this. and i just think that -- i hope this is a passing thing and that there are other forces in the republican party saying, no, we need a more fundamental rethink. they only need to shift about four votes in a hundred. you'd think they would have the confidence to win a fair election by converting just four people out of every 100 people. >> we have seen a new normal or maybe a new attempt at a center in republican politics on a bunch of different issues since this election. comprehensive immigration reform is something they are willing to talk about. some of the issues like talking about rape exceptions in abortion, it seems to be something that they are willing to change their minds about what counts as a normal republican position on that subject. is it possible that the idea of restricting access to the polls
and make iing it harder to vote could end up being something that's simply too embarrassing to hold on to? what has to cause a partisan rethink about that? >> i would like to think there are some people in the party who are rethinking. and i think david from said this. the ice is breaking a little bit in the republican party and people are allowing themselves to descend. you'd like to say, okay, you know, we lost nonwhite voters. we got 20% of their votes. we can do better than that. but the fact that these guys in ohio and wisconsin just want to go back to the same old thing only more so, i think it's very depressing. maybe soon they'll just say, let's go back to requiring people to own property to vote. or maybe since corporations are people, we'll give corporations a vote for every dollar of revenue. that would settle it for them. this is really strange.
i just hope these other forces in the party say to these guys, this is not the way we go forward. >> that's right. when people are talking now, both on the right and in the center and on the left, about the bench moving up in republican politics, the bright future of the party being among those governors, you can't look at a guy like scott walker who is taking this and saying he's part of the future of the party. i think this has become a disqualifying prejudice at this point. e.j. dionne, msnbc contributor, thank you. >> great to be with you. one of the first pieces of advice i got about going on television was never do math live on tv. it is good advice. turns out it should also apply to newspaper articles about paranoid rich people. do not do math live in the middle of your journalism because sometimes it goes very, very wrong. that story is next. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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in march 2009 about six weeks after barack obama was sworn into office, abc news discovered a bit of a freak out happening under the radar across the country. this was how they headlined their article describing said freak out. upper income taxpayers look for ways to sidestep obama tax plan. he said he would end the tax
cuts for the wealthy. and abc news found after the election that at least some of the people in this country making over $250,000 a year were just freaking out about that. "a 63-year-old attorney base d n louisiana who asked not to be named told abc news that she plans to cut back on her business to get her annual income under the $250,000 mark should the obama tax plan be passed by congress and become law. we were going to try to make our income $249,999 she said." this is nuts. if i could just lower my income, i will avoid the tax hike. i will purposely make less money so i don't fall into the tax hike category. this is nuts, right? this is a fundamental misunderstanding. this is like that old joke about the three guys sitting about the
one thing they would take with them to survive if they knew they would be trapped in the desert. the first guy would bring a compass so i could find my way out. the second guy would bring as much water i could carry so i could survive. the third guy says i would bring a car door. why would you bring a car door? the guy says i could roll down the window in case i got hot. this is like finding a car door guy, but rather in real life. right after president obama was inaugura inaugurated, it will not make your taxes go up on every dollar that you make. your tax rate is exactly the same for all of the money you make up to $250,000. it's only the money you make on top of that. it gets taxed at a slightly higher rate. that's it.
everything else stays the same. reducing your income below $250,000 literally does nothing to your overall tax liability. it's like dragging a panel through the desert in case you get hot. it doesn't make any sense. but absentee wrote that up of people behaving that idiotically with no critical commentary whatsoever as if what those people were doing made any sense. as if this was a reasonable reengineering of your income to e get around the reach of uncle sam. it was told bullpucky and abc got called out for it and it was embarrassing for them and they had to update their story to account for the fact that they happened to be reporting on something that people were doing that was a ridiculous thing. something that didn't make any sense. that was right after president obama got sworn in in 2009. now in 2012, it is happening again. check out this blaring headline from "the new york times" yesterday.
investors rush to beat threat of higher taxes. just like abc did three years ago, "the new york times" found their own examples of taxpayers lugging their car doors through the desert in case they get hot. they avoid to crossing the income threshold for higher taxes on earnings above $250,000 for couples. she felt torn by being near the cut offline. if we're really close and it's near the end year, maybe we'll close down for awhile and go on vacation, she said. seriously? this is mathematical insanity. and you know, maybe "the new york times" thinks it is hilarious. maybe they decided to put this guy in the piece for up for ridicule while assuming that everybody gets what she's talking about doing is nuts or maybe "the new york times" is
doing exact ly what abc did aftr the last time we went through this debate three years ago. in which case, come on, you're supposed to be the paper of record. it's fine to report when people are doing something coo coo with their money, but you're supposed to report that what they are doing is based on a misunderstanding of math. this is not that hard a thing. here's how it goes. you don't even need a white board or a calculator or anything. it's kind of simple. >> we're saying nobody's income taxes go up on the first $250,000 of their income. so even somebody who makes more than $250,000 is still getting a tax break on the first $250,000. you understand? even somebody who is worth $200 million, that first $250,000, they are still paying lower taxes. >> in politics it's true. the tax fight gets shorthanded
as raising taxes on rich people. but the first $250,000 of income will be taxed the same as it is now. it stays the same. no additional taxes. no matter how much additional money you make beyond that fresh hold. you may pay a higher rate over $250,000, but purposely reducing your income to under a dollar, is hilarious. so consider had a public service announcement to people of means. or if you prefer, to moneyed americans. if somebody tries to reduce you to reducing your income on purpose to $249,999.99, if somebody tries to talk you into doing that, they are teasing you. it's a hoax to tease you for not understanding math and how taxes work. if you're not a person of money but you know such a person fallen into this trap, it's your choice to leave them floundering for your amusement while they
purpose purposely reduce their income to no rational effect. or you can do the right thing and help them understand how marginal tax rates work. class warfare is just a metaphor. somebody needs to tell "the new york times" to stop teasing the rich people this way. stop being so mean. just explain how this works. [ woman ] too weak. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com. yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands? [ man ] on in 5!
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[ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] can't find theraflu? try alka-seltzer plus for fast, liquid, cold, and flu relief. ♪ ♪ i want candy ♪ ♪ i want candy a few months after president obama was inaugurated in 2009, the president recorded a message to the people of iran on the occasion of the new year. >> the united states wants the islamic republic to take its rightful place. you have that right. but it it comes with real responsibilities. >> remarkable as that message was, something specific about what he did ended up becoming important. the president used that specific
name for that country, called it the islamist republic of iran. that's the name that they want to be called. that's after the revolution in the late '70s. they want to be called the islamic republic of iran. and president obama did so. the principle at work here was essentially listen, we'll call you whatever you want to be called. you want to take offense at the way we spell it. let's take it off the table. i'm willing to engage in whatever niceties that have no consequences for us, but from your perspective, that might get us closer to talking to each other. i'm willing to take away stylistic excuses, because i believe we need to talk. then this week different country but same deal. for the first time ever this week, president obama used this word, myanmar.
this word has only been officially used since 1989 when burma decided it wouldn't be called that anymore. it was changed from burma to myanmar. they also renamed the capital city to yangon. and they moved it any way. they said we're going to build a new one from scratch and they match hacked a new cap tl. it's a little craze subpoena. happens in isolated regimes, even more than in normal countries. but that's why when you read news stories about president obama making the first trip by a u.s. president ever, sometimes you see a reference to burma and sometimes as myanmar. even though everybody thinks of rangoon as the capital of burma,
it's now napida. the last time news about rangoon was in 2007 when there was mass protests in the streets and broadcast all over the world. the monks marching into the streets to protest the violence against people. we all remember the images in their robes in the streets of rangoon. it's why people refer to those demonstrations as the saffron revolution. there's been a long and dedicated opposition movement against the military dictatorship there. in the face of that has been a woman who spent the 25 years pushing for democratic reform in her country. the dictatorship responded by keeping her under house arrest for the last quarter century. just a few years ago, the only way an american could visit was to do what the crazy mission tear did when he swam across a lake and got arrested and boot the out of the country and got
her in more trouble with the government. that history of isolation and repression is why it was such a big moment when this week the gates of her house, the place that's served as her prison, when those gates swung open yesterday to receive the presidential limousine and his motorcade all rolling on to the grounds of her home, and she hosted president obama and secretary of state hillary clinton. just in the past year, she's now a member of parliament in a country that's emerging from this aauthoritarian dispope ya into a normal country. it's starting to. it's just starting to. that was why it was such a big deal for the sitting u.s. president to go there. >> over the last several decades, our two countries became strangers. but today i can tell you that we always remain hopeful about the people of this country.
about you. you gave us hope and we bore witness to your courage. >> that's president obama speaking on the first ever visit to burma, speaking at yangon university. this is how president obama was greeted in the streets. people lining the streets to see him waving american flags and chanting his name. president obama and secretary of state hillary clinton also visited the pagoda where they walked barefoot, which is a custom of anybody visiting this shrine. this was a serious moment at that site. also for us watching this footage. it's not something that you see e every day rs the president's feet. president obama is the first american president to visit this country. his presence there is a symbol of just how far that country has come in recent months after decades of not. but when she had a chance to address the world with president obama standing by her side, she
made just a brief statement and in her brief statement she chose to issue a warning of sorts about how far her country has yet to go. >> i'd like to say how happy i am to receive president obama in my country and in my house. the friendship between our two countries is of long standing. the united states has been staunch in its support of the movement in burma and we're confident that this support will continue through the difficult years that lie ahead. i say difficult because the most difficult time in any transition is when we think that success is in sight. then we have to be very careful that we are not veered by a mirage of success. >> there's a long way to go internally for burma, but also in terms of the way that burma relates to other countries and the world. as the president set off on this trip an adviser for the obama administration told the press on air force one that the u.s. is
changing the structure of some of its aid to burma. with that change and with this historic presidential visit, the white house says burma is reducing their military relationship with north korea. and if you're looking for hope in a world where the worst things never seem to get better, i might offer that it could be a source of hope that there's starting to be oneless country in the world that sees north korea as its lifeline to the world. that's not the direction that this country is looking anymore. you can see the direction they are looking here. that seems like progress. and progress sometimes happens in concrete ways. in ways that you can see when presidents are willing to go places that presidents have never gone before. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you tomorrow night. it's time for "the last word" hosted by ezra cline. good evening, mr. clien. >> good evening, rachel. how are you? >> i